2019 National Convention Registration, Housing, and Travel Information

Table of Contents

VENUE

UPDATED 7/3: Extension of Hotel Booking Deadline

Due to member reports of receiving errors using the hotel booking link, we have received an extension on the hotel booking deadline to Monday, July 8, 2019. If you experience any challenges booking at the hotel, please let us know at reghelpdesk@dsausa.org.

This year, our National Convention will be held from August 2nd-4th at the Westin Peachtree Plaza (hotel & conference center), in Downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

We rotate convention sites around the country each time to reach all regions, and we chose this venue for a variety of reasons but most importantly, because of our commitment as an organization to workers and organized labor.

The Westin Peachtree is one of only two union hotels in a city decimated by Air BnB. The hotel workers are members of Unite Here, Local 23. Y’allidarity!

Because the Peachtree Plaza is a union hotel, the rates for registration and housing are higher than the 2017 National Convention. Rooms at the hotel can be reserved for a single person (typically a delegate traveling with their family), two people (a double), or up to four people (a triple or a quad).

We incorporated the feedback we received from members after the 2017 Convention to help guide the changes for the 2019 convention. The 2017 Convention took place in a more affordable venue, but with insufficient breakout space. Furthermore, because sessions were spread out over several city blocks, some sessions were difficult for members with mobility issues to access. This year we have hundreds more delegates, yet the venue will be accessible beyond ADA compliance.

We will have four floors of the hotel, so all sessions are very close to each other in the same building. This is better for delegate access, and also easier to monitor for security, another important concern.

UPDATED 7/3: Early Bird Registration for the Convention opened on Saturday, June 1st and closed on Thursday, June 20th. Scholarship recipients were grandfathered into the Early Bird registration rate. Regular Registration ended Monday, July 1st. All delegates, NPC members, NPC candidates observers and DSA officers attending are responsible for paying the Convention Registration Fee, which includes breakfasts and lunches. Delegates and non-delegate NPC candidates were eligible to apply for scholarships to help with travel, housing, and registration costs. Alternates are only eligible for scholarships if they are replacing delegates and emailed RegHelpDesk@dsausa.org prior to 6/23 to confirm this.

CONVENTION FOR ALL (updated 7/3)

It is important that the convention is accessible to ALL. This means financially, too! Attending the convention should not depend on financial ability. While we welcome delegates to apply for national scholarships, your chapter fundraising is the first line of support. A chapter that has confidence in the ability of a member to represent its views and interests at convention should also be prepared to help facilitate their attendance. We encourage chapters to begin raising funds for their delegation. The already-heavily subsidized registration, the hotel room rate, and travel costs should be shared collectively by the whole chapter.

In addition to our grassroots fundraising trainings at all regional preconvention conferences, Development Director Alison Baldree has provided individualized coaching sessions for many chapters in the past month, and is available for more. Your chapter fundraising chair or treasurer can arrange for one here.

If you want to help make our convention accessible to everyone, you can donate to the Solidarity Fund. The Solidarity Fund supports on-site child watch, accessibility accommodations, and delegate scholarships for travel, housing, and registration costs. This is especially important for at-large delegates, who do not have chapter resources to draw on, and for delegates from small chapters.

The national staff is fundraising for our Solidarity Fund with the goal of raising $175,000. Why a Solidarity Fund? It is important that the convention is accessible to all of our elected delegates.

Delegates can apply for national scholarships if their home chapter is unable to subsidize its delegation. Scholarship recipients will be grandfathered into the Early Bird registration rate. The deadline to apply was Sunday, June 23. You can find a scholarship and travel share waiver FAQ, including deadlines, the scholarship application, and scholarship distribution process information here.

We have expanded scholarship support to cover registration and housing costs as well as travel. The original low income housing rate was removed because we were unable to negotiate a deal with the hotel to subsidize housing costs up front through the hotel’s booking page. We will be using the original rates proposed for housing, including the low income rate published in April, to guide the scholarship awards. While we cannot guarantee that applicants will receive the full amount they request, we are fundraising via the Solidarity Fund to make the convention as accessible as possible. In exceptional cases, DSA staff will be able to book a room and thus put in payment and possible subsidy up front. Please email reghelpdesk@dsausa.org for help.

REGISTRATION (updated 7/3)

Convention registration opened Saturday, June 1st and closed Monday, July 1st. All delegates, NPC members, observers and DSA officers attending are responsible for paying the Convention Fee, which includes breakfasts and lunches. Delegates and NPC candidates could apply for scholarships to help with registration costs.

The regular registration fee is $263. This represents less than half the actual cost to DSA! Those who registered by Thursday, June 20 could pay an early-bird regular Convention rate of $215. Each Early Bird Regular registration fee is subsidized 61% by membership dues.

The low-income registration rate is $100. Low-income members could pay $65 if they registered by Thursday, June 20th, the early bird-deadline. In addition, scholarship recipients will be grandfathered into the Early Bird registration rate. Each Early Bird Low-Income registration fee is subsidized 89% by membership dues.

HOUSING (updated 7/3)

Extension of Hotel Booking Deadline

Due to member reports of receiving errors using the hotel booking link, we have received an extension on the hotel booking deadline to Monday, July 8, 2019. If you experience any challenges booking at the hotel, please let us know at reghelpdesk@dsausa.org.

When a member registers as a delegate, NPC candidate, alternate or observer, they will receive a dedicated DSA convention URL to book a room at the hotel. This URL should only be used by one person per room. Please consider your travel arrangements before booking your room.

Delegates can save significantly by sharing a hotel room. We expect that many delegates will room with other delegates from the same chapter, or with partners who are not attending the convention. Or they may make arrangements with friends in other chapters.

The national office can help to match roommates for those not traveling with local comrades through our reghelpdesk@dsausa.org account. We often receive feedback after trainings, convenings and from the Pre-Convention Conferences that meeting new comrades through housing is one of the highlights!

Hotel booking closes Monday, July 8th. The special rate for those attending the convention is $159.31 per night (inclusive of taxes and fees) or $478 for three nights.

  • The room rate is the same for one, two, three or four persons in the room.
  • Therefore, with roommates the room rate can be as low as $39.83 per person per night or $119.48 for three nights.

TRAVEL SHARE SYSTEM (updated 7/10)

The travel share system is designed so that delegates who travel long distances or live in communities with less affordable flight access have their costs subsidized by delegates who have lower costs, thus equalizing access.

Actual fares (or mileage at $0.58/mile for those who drive) will be averaged among all delegates, based on proof of payment or mileage calculation from point of origin.

  • Those delegates whose costs are higher than the average will be reimbursed for the difference, providing that they exercised reasonable diligence in their ticket purchase.
  • Those delegates whose intercity costs are lower than the average will pay the difference into the pool. Those who commute locally are also in the pool and will pay the average cost.

Now that registration is closed, we are ready to calculate travel share! Delegates were sent a form to submit their travel costs on 7/9/2019 so that we can calculate travel share.

Delegates whose costs are below the average amount will need to pay in to the travel share before being seated as a delegate. Delegates whose costs are above the average amount will receive a payment after the convention from the travel share pool. Alternates will not be required to pay into the travel share unless they are seated at the convention.

Note that delegates who are driving extraordinarily long distances may be excluded from the travel share. Scholarship recipients have been notified that they are exempt from the travel share requirement.

After the travel share average is calculated, we will reach out to individuals about their travel share amount.

If you have questions, please contact RegHelpDesk@dsausa.org.

TRANSPORTATION TO AND IN ATLANTA

The convention will open at 9am on Friday, August 2 and should be done at 2pm on Sunday, August 4. The airport in Atlanta is the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. From the airport, take the MARTA, the local public transport system, to Peachtree Center Transit Station. The train ride is about 20 minutes; also double check Google maps. On your return home, make sure to plan to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before departure for international travel.

The Westin Peachtree Plaza is at 210 Peachtree St NW Atlanta is near the Peachtree Center MARTA station. Local transportation from the airport is simple and costs $2.50.

  • The MARTA trains stop running at 1:15am for weekdays and weekends. A MARTA ride costs $2.50 for a one way ticket with discounts for seniors.

  • There is no hotel shuttle to and from the airport

  • A taxi will cost approximately $35 one way. The Hotel is 12 miles or 19 km away from the airport.  

LOCAL INFORMATION (updated 7/3)

Metro Atlanta DSA has prepared a local guide for the National Convention. Click here for Atlanta transportation information, places to eat near the convention, and more! Metro Atlanta DSA will be updating this guide as the Convention gets closer.